Monday, January 17, 2022

Reading into it

 I saw an article last week about a picture of a dream home library that continuously circulates the internet - a background for memes about the love of reading. I certainly love to read, but the picture actually made me anxious. There were too many books to ever read them all. Plus, every horizontal surface in the room was covered with piles of books. Too cluttered for me. And the idea of reading and reading and reading but never getting close to reading them all is the stuff of nightmares. 

My own home has nowhere near the number of books as the home in the picture. But lately I've had the same anxious feeling when I look at my own book shelves. I feel like my own collection is too much. 

Books are one thing that I will buy with reckless abandon. I don't have an excessive wardrobe or piles of shoes, extensive kitchen gadgets or knick knack collections on shelves, gathering dust. But I do have books on a variety of subjects that interest me, or at least did interest me at one point in time. 

Seemingly unlike the owner of the dream library, I don't buy books to have them. I buy them to read them. A great number of the books I have, however, remain unread. And don't get me started on the collection of digital books on my kindle app. (I mean, I get at least one free digital book a month from Amazon. What am I NOT supposed to take it?) The digital books don't take up physical space, but they do mock me in their neat rows on the home page of my reading app. How am I ever going to get a little check mark next to them all?

So I decided to do something about it.  Thing #5 on the list: read 52 books this year. 4 weeks in, I've read 3 books and I'm in the middle of a bunch of them, piled on my bedside table. 

Each month, I'm going to read one fiction, one non-fiction, one digital, and on wild card, just to shake things up. (I'm cutting myself some slack for not completing 4 yet, since my first non-fiction was about Neuroplasticity, which tends to be a slower read.)  And I'm seeing that it's tying in nicely with my decluttering thing #3, since I'm making a conscious decision about what to do with the book once read. Some I'll give to a friend to read, some I'll donate. A few I'll keep. And a few I'll place in a public place with a note "take me". (I especially like doing this in airports. Means less for me to pack on the way home AND I'll make somebody's day)

My hope is, I'll begin to look at my pile of books with excitement and happiness, not anxiety. After all, reading was one of my first loves and this is the year to rediscover that! 

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